Sport is healthy.
Nevertheless, some 1.25 million sports accidents occur each year in Germany*. Approx. 60 percent of the cases concern the locomotor system**. Patients and health insurance funds are burdened, the cure is often lengthy and difficult.
The Berlin-based design office Werksdesign has developed a solution as a design concept study, the “e-crutch“. This smart walking aid is ergonomic as there are no pressure points and the use is very comfortable thanks to a special patented suspension.
First combination of walking aid and app
Only through its app the innovative device will be particularly efficient and smart. With help of the application patient and therapist can enter into dialogue, monitor the recovery progress and make it more effective. For example, the pressure loads for the hands are measured by a sensor system in the handle. With this data the patient can adjust his use of the walking aid for optimal rehabilitation. The recovery time is shortened, the healing is more successful.
Future-oriented smart technology
The concept study “e-crutch” illustrates above all how classical products can be evolved sensibly to future-oriented, smart helpers. The study takes the “Internet of Things” into account and is forward-looking for the medical technology industry, especially for user experience and interface design. The connection to the app and smartphone creates a real added value which benefits patients and manufacturers.
In the concept study Werkdesign also investigated conventional walking aids: The grips often cause too much bending of the wrists, too little surface contact produces punctual pressure peaks (numbness). During the displacement of the body weight an instability feeling occurs because the walking aids follows the forearm only to a limited extent.
Volker Schumann, managing director of Werksdesign says, “The smart synchronous movement of the “e-crutch” favours the movement and strengthens the patient’s sense of safety. The ergonomic design of the handle and the flexible foot have a supporting effect.”
A sensor system is integrated into the walking aid, which detects the support forces, motion sequences and the occurring accelerations. The load values are displayed in the E-crutch app and are compared with the marks recommended by the orthopaedist.
Together with the rehabilitation programs of the app the convalescence time of the patients is significantly improved.
* Source: German Insurance Association GDV
** Source: Ruhr University Bochum, Germany